RFI Fellows: Mid-Summer Update

Our Summer in Auburn Continues…

Hello Auburn, we are back again to give you an update on everything we have been doing for the past week. We’ve recently been spending our time going around to the local businesses that participated in the ADC’s Double Down gift card program to do a follow up survey about how it has benefitted their business during their time of need. We have loved visiting the local shops and eateries that Auburn has to offer. We have met some great business owners and have uncovered several hidden gems within the community.

Along with surveying the local business owners about the gift card program, we have spent a few afternoons on the Honeybee Scavenger Hunt. As interest of art and beauty continues to grow in the community, curiosity about the scavenger hunt continues to grow across Nebraska. Leslie Clark, the president of the Auburn Development Council, has been involved in several phone and radio interviews including one with the Nebraska Life magazine. You can find her interview and the pictures that we, along with one of our community leaders Julia Oestmann, took of the bees in an article in next month’s issue! The bee scavenger hunt is a great way to get outside and enjoy the community.

We have some exciting new projects that are in the works and we can’t wait to share them all with you soon. We hope you had a great Independence Day!

See you again next week,

Brittney and Emma

Our RFI Experience

Meet Brittney

Hi Auburn! I am Brittney Emerson. I am from Mullen, Nebraska and am currently a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where I study Agriculture Education-Leadership and minor in Horticulture. I have a passion for supporting rural communities and am excited to be here this summer! I grew up on a cow-calf operation in the Sandhills of Nebraska, so this is my first summer in farm country! We also own and operate a ranch equipment business. We run about 300 head of cattle and still enjoy the “cowboy” way of life. Some of my favorite things include working on the ranch, country music and Disney movies. I am excited to spend my summer doing something new and serving the city of Auburn in any way possible.

Meet Emma

Hello Auburn! My name is Emma Hoffschneider and this summer I will be working as a Rural Futures Institute Fellow with the Auburn Development Council. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with ADC and the community of Auburn through the RFI Fellows Program. I am excited to learn more about the Community of Auburn and explore all that it has to offer over the next few months. I am from Burwell, Nebraska and will be going into my Sophomore year of college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I am majoring in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communications and Agricultural Economics. A few things you should know about me is that I love the outdoors, have a strong addiction to coffee, a committed relationship to ice cream, and am crazy competitive when it comes to any type of athletic event. I can’t wait to meet more people in the community and look forward to visiting the local businesses soon. Feel free to stop and say hi if you see me out and about, I would love to meet you and visit about your life in Auburn.

Our RFI Fellowship

This summer we are summer fellows through the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Your Auburn Development Council decided to take a chance on us and allowed us to intern for them through the RFI Fellows Program.

We have been working with Kim Beger, Leslie Clark, Jamie Aue and Julia Oestman. We have been here for about three weeks now and are loving it! During the first two weeks we had to quarantine before we could immerse ourselves into the community. During that time we stayed busy researching LB840. LB840 is a funding opportunity for economic development within Nebraska communities, and can be used for loans and grants for local businesses as well as a town’s aesthetic, such as greenery, upkeep and repair of store fronts. After our initial research, we then contacted the 72 communities across Nebraska who have LB840 in place to see how it has benefited their communities.

We have found that it has brought only positives to those communities that have decided to implement it. We hope that the research and resources we gained will prove to be useful as the ADC moves forward. Starting this week our quarantine has been lifted! We can’t wait to do some exploring of the town and have found the city and the few people we have met in Auburn to be everything we hoped for and more.

The beauty of Auburn gives off a hometown feel, welcoming us with open arms. With many green spaces, parks, recreational areas, lakes and rivers in and around Auburn, it is easy to appreciate the many things that you have to offer and we are blessed that you have shared them with us! We look forward to a fun-filled summer, and can’t wait to meet you all!

The Auburn Development Council Welcomes RFI Interns

We’re welcoming the Auburn RFI Fellows who are focusing on economic development, entrepreneurship, and workforce training.

Students: Brittney Emerson, Emma Hoffschneider
Innovators: Julia Oestmann, Kim Beger

“I am not afraid of adapting and overcoming difficult circumstances that are in front of me — a trait that runs deep in every rural community across Nebraska.” — Emma Hoffschneider

The primary project will involve creating a great marketing and research effort with a strong community campaign to secure passage of LB840, the local option municipal economic development act that authorizes incorporated cities to collect and appropriate local tax dollars for economic development purposes. Additional projects will include entrepreneurship, coding camp and mobile STEM lab promotion, business recruitment, and workforce training.

Auburn Disaster Relief Fund

Auburn Development Council, Inc is pleased to announce the creation of the Auburn Disaster Relief Fund to meet the economic needs of businesses in Auburn for COVID-19 relief.

Auburn businesses have been hit hard the last two years with disasters. In 2019, historic flooding severely impacted Nemaha County and the Auburn businesses. Now Covid-19 has taken its toll on our business community before they were able to recover from the flooding.

In the past five years, Auburn is fortunate eleven new businesses have opened by local entrepreneurs. We realize how difficult it is to be a small business owner let alone be a new business start- up. We also realize how important each small business is for the vitality of Auburn. Auburn Development Council has recently helped restaurants, hair salons and limited retail with a Gift Card Matching program, totaling $18,000. There will be a long-term economic impact on our local businesses that will need to be addressed for them to survive ADC will match dollar for dollar up to the first $2,000 for any new funds contributed to the Auburn Disaster Relief Fund, bringing ADC’s commitment to Auburn businesses to $20,000 during this economic crisis. Now ADC is asking for your generosity so more businesses can be assisted.

The Rebound Grant will provide locally owned businesses with small grants for the purpose of building inventory, service capacity, an online presence or general assistance as business restrictions surrounding the pandemic are relaxed or eliminated. We want to ensure that businesses can rebound sales as the community business environment emerges from the worst impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Auburn Disaster Relief Fund will address both the immediate and longer-term needs related to this crisis with the focus being on economic needs. Priority will be given to local businesses that have been most significantly impacted by this crisis; this fund will continue to be active to address the future needs of our local businesses whether in disasters or economic uncertainties. Auburn’s local businesses are always there to support and donate to our local causes and now it is our time to help them. Those willing to support Auburn’s local businesses may give online https://growauburnne.com/disaster-relief/ or you may mail a check to Auburn Development Council, Inc 1101 J Street, Auburn, NE 68305 For more information, please contact: Auburn Development Council: Kim Beger, (402) 274-3420 or info@growauburnne.org.